Sunday, November 2, 2008

Race for the Cure

Race for the Cure is a nationwide 5k. This weekend was in downtown Austin. It's a huge fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen foundation. I haven't done a 5K (outside a triathlon) since the Dixie Chicken run in College Station in 2003, so I wasn't even sure what kind of goal to set. I figured it would be a crowded race and maybe hilly, so I'd be happy with anything less than 36 minutes.

I met up with the Trizones group and I was amazed by all the pink at the race site. Some people were dressed head to toe in pink. The race tents were pink and they were giving out all kinds of pink stuff. They had pink signs to put on your back that said "in honor of" or "in memory of" so you could fill in names of people you know who have had breast cancer. I made an "in honor of" sign and put my aunt Jean, my great aunt Linda, and Hannah (a trizones athlete) on mine.

We got there pretty early so we hung out and warmed up for awhile. Then headed over to the Congress street bridge for the start. They had estimated that 24,000 people would participate, many of them walked and started at a different location. At the start we got fairly close to the front and I was surprised it wasn't really that crowded the first mile. Most of the first mile was slightly uphill, I got to the 1 mile marker at about 11:20, perfect pace.

The second mile there were a few steep uphills and a few nice downhills. I started to pass a lot of people who were walking and running slowly. It was pretty cool to see some of the guys dressed in pink with signs that said Mom or Grandma. The breast cancer survivors all wore special pink shirts, it was really amazing to see so many of them all racing, some of them were running or walking with big groups of their supporters. At the 2 mile marker my watch said 22:40 ish. still right on pace. It looked like it was more downhill at this point so I tried to speed up a little.

The last 1.2 miles went by fast. I turned a corner and there was the finish line! My official time was 33:56. I watched people finish for a few minutes and then met up with the Trizoners for pictures.
Jody is a 70 year old Trizones athlete who finished 3rd in her age group (notice the medal!) after running 12 miles on Saturday (she's getting ready for the San Antonio half marathon). Jody is really sweet and really inspiring, she started a business to keep seniors active, she teaches aerobics and other classes for seniors, she does triathlons, she rows, and she's even thinking about writing a book. I think all of us at Trizones hope we can be like Jody when we're 70!

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